Spending starts on cladding work in Eastbourne

Millions of pounds of government money is being used to replace ‘unsafe’ cladding in Eastbourne.

Funding has now been received by developments in the town which means work can begin to make properties safe.

Midway Quay, a development of 260 flats, has received £6.3 million from the Building Safety Fund to make sure unsafe cladding is removed from the building.

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This comes five years after the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017 in which 72 people died, including two who later died in hospital.

MP Caroline Ansell went to see how government cash is being used to replace unsafe cladding.

The fire was started by a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor and spread rapidly up the building's exterior due to the building's cladding and the external insulation.

MP Caroline Ansell visited Devonshire Court to see how money was being spent.

She said, “I am delighted that these substantial funds have now been received by these developments in Eastbourne and that the work can now take place to make them safe. This has been a very unsettling time for many, many residents in our town who, through no fault of their own, have had to deal with this and it has caused considerable stress.”

Andy Dunbar, from Midway Quay Management Company, said, “We were faced with a dire situation when it became clear that unsafe cladding had been used in the construction of our buildings.

“Not only did we feel unsafe, but we were also trapped as it was almost impossible to sell. This caused untold stress and worry. Many saw the possibility of losing their home and financial ruin.

“The bill for rectifying our buildings came to £8m, an average of over £30k for each flat. We applied to the Building Safety Fund and received a grant of £6.2m.

“All the work should be finished soon. This situation was not of the leaseholders' making but the Building Safety Fund has enabled us to move forward and feel safe in our homes.”Mrs Ansell said, “I am pleased the government has given this cash and that is now being put to good use. I am also pleased the government is implementing a developers’ levy to create a multi-billion pound fund to ensure unsafe buildings receive financial aid. This should ensure that the taxpayer will not be left to foot all of the bill.”

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